Burnley vs Arsenal | Saturday 18th September 2021, 15:00
It is a tough slate of fixtures this weekend. Looking at the 3pm matches, you have two games that look to be quite one-sided and two (this one and Norwich vs Watford) that look pretty tight.
After a lot of soul-searching, I have decided to go with Burnley Draw No Bet as my outright bet this weekend. Sean Dyche’s side have a reputation of defying performance data as they’ve generally gained more points than expected points models have suggested they deserve during their recent stay in the Premier League.
However, this season it has been a role reversal, with The Clarets having gained just one point from four Premier League matches, with the data suggesting they merit almost five.
Sean Dyche will argue that his side were more than a match for Brighton, Leeds and Everton this term and that one point is an unfair reflection on their general play and I have a tendency to agree with him, as well as confidence in the fact that Burnley will turn things around.
Their opponents this weekend, Arsenal, gained their first points of the season at home to Norwich last Saturday. That was a deserved victory and The Gunners were able to field a stronger side, with Ben White and Gabriel at the back and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang up front.
However, prior to that they had allowed nine goals in three defeats to Brentford, Chelsea and Manchester City and I think the Burnley front line of Ashley Barnes and Chris Wood have the strength to cause Arsenal’s defence plenty of problems.
The Turf Moor side are undefeated in their last three matches against Arsenal and given that their opponents have only scored one league goal this season, I think a solitary strike will be enough to ensure that they avoid defeat. With that in mind, I like the 9/5 with Unibet on Burnley in the Draw No Bet market.
Liverpool vs Crystal Palace | Saturday 18th September 2021, 15:00
I didn’t think I would find myself tipping up a goalscorer bet at 5/4 but that is exactly what I am doing here, backing Sadio Mane at 5/4 with MansionBet to find the net against Crystal Palace.
Mane has scored in two of his four league games this season but his expected goals total is 3.52 – the highest in the Premier League. He has also amassed 22 shots so far this term, which is four more than any other player.
Having scored in three of his last four home matches for Liverpool, including two against Saturday’s opponents, he will go in to the match with plenty of confidence and also a lot of energy, having been rested for the first hour of Wednesday’s Champions League match against AC Milan.
Palace’s start looks a lot better after their victory against Tottenham last weekend and they will be competitive in this encounter. However, they have conceded five goals in just two away games so far this term and I expect Liverpool to score at least a couple against them. If that is the case, I have full confidence in Mane bagging at least one of them.
Norwich vs Watford | Saturday 18th September 2021, 15:00
My final bet is at Carrow Road and it comes in the form of Emmanuel Dennis in the ‘to be shown a card market’. Dennis has been booked in his last two Premier League matches and has amassed 13 fouls so far this year – more than any other player in the league.
In what is likely to be a tight, competitive match, I think the 4/1 Paddy Power are offering on Dennis to be booked looks like reasonable value.
Dennis had just 11 bookings in his 56 domestic matches in his previous two seasons but he is clearly a combative player and with a reasonable referee – Rob Jones averages over three cards per game across his career – I think backing the player with the most offences in the league this season to see one of those cards, is good value.
Burnley vs Arsenal – Burnley Draw No Bet (9/5 Unibet)
Liverpool vs Crystal Palace – Sadio Mane to score (5/4 MansionBet)
Norwich vs Watford – Emmanuel Dennis to be shown a card (4/1 Paddy Power)